form National Consensus Govt. Immediately
The 14-point declaration issued from the recently concluded two day long national conclave of the Nepali Congress (NC) district presidents has given the party´s leadership a nod to bury the hatchet of factionalism to make the party able to cope with the present chaos. Contradicting the idea floated by some members of the dissolved Constituent Assembly (CA) to reinstate it, the gathering of the district heads also suggested the party leadership to hold fresh parliamentary election to a 240-member parliament with the mandate to draft a new constitution. Another conclave of the district secretaries that concluded in Pokhara tuned with the line of Barabise. However, these conclaves have not ruled out the possibilities to revive the dissolved CA for the short period, only if the political parties reach on consensus on contentious issues of the new constitution.
The country needs the most at this critical juncture is a new constitution institutionalizing of the federal democratic republican set up of Nepal and this would be better to be done through the CA. Only a constitution promulgated through the CA will have broad legitimacy and be in tune with the aspiration of Nepalese people for the last 6 decades. But the bitter reality ahead of the nation is that there is no possibility to conduct the CA election time and again. Any underdeveloped countries like Nepal cannot bear unnecessary burden of election whether it was for the CA or parliament. There is no guarantee that new constitution will be promulgated in time even if the country goes for another CA. Nepalese people are well aware that the CA was failed by the political parties, particularly the UCPN-Maoist’s childish attitude to federate the country on the basis of ethnicity.
As the Election Commission (EC) has already ruled out another CA election on Nov. 22, 2012, the Maoist led incumbent government should have realized that there is no option but to garner broader political consensus for another electoral exercise. We have repeatedly been emphasizing that politics is the only remaining legitimate option to move forward the nation. And, formation of a national consensus government would be a base for the purpose. With the decision of the EC, the UCPN-Maoist and other alliance of the incumbent government should have understood that none of the elections, whether it is for the CA or for the parliament, are impossible without consensus among the political parties.
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As Nepali Congress is proposed to lead the next government, it must pick its prime ministerial candidate without further delay. Official candidate of the opposition parties to lead the next consensus government would create pressure on Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai to step down immediately. We have no reservation, if the political parties agree on any options to lead the country, but a suggestion is that election for the next CA, which, after a fixed period can continue to function as a regular parliament until the next general election would be better for the nation.